“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (I Timothy 4:12).
Recently after one of our writings on the subject of spiritual immaturity, a young friend in the ministry wrote to tell of a painful experience he’d had with a longtime buddy who was pastoring a church. I’ll summarize his story.
After his team lost in the Super Bowl, Pastor Kent went to his Facebook page and slammed the winning team. He griped about the city, its people, its reputation, and said every bad thing he could think to say. He was an unhappy camper.
His friend, telling the story–we’ll call him Tommy–sent him a private note to say it was not very gracious for a pastor to be speaking that way just because his team had lost. Perhaps Kent would like to soften his words somewhat.
Pastor Ken responded harshly, insisting he had been joking and that he was offended at being reprimanded in public this way.
Since they were longtime friends and he felt he could speak plainly, Tommy pointed out that he had not rebuked him in public but this was a private communication. He added that the city whose team had just won the championship had undergone some very difficult times lately and this victory had given them a much needed lift, that sort of thing.
That day, Kent cut off all further communication with Tommy and “unfriended” him and his family on Facebook. They’ve had no contact since.
The experience hurt Tommy. He told me, “I really miss my old friend.”
An immature pastor can be a problem for all who know him.
Pray for his church. Pray God will give the church a few mature leaders who can speak plainly with him (that’s a euphemism for “take him to the woodshed when necessary”). He will be lost without such friends.